The Home Secretary has recounted the “horrendous” incident which saw her threatened with a knife on her own doorstep.

Witham MP Priti Patel was returning home after visiting her husband in hospital when the incident took place.

Ms Patel had just got out of a taxi around 9pm at night when she noticed a group of young people sat on her garden wall “smoking stuff”.

She told the Sun: “I asked them to move so I could get to my door and one pulled out a knife.

“I can’t tell you what sort but he also had a broken glass bottle in the other hand.

“It took me completely by surprise but my husband has always told me to make sure I have got my key in my hand after dark.

“I had a big rucksack and used it to push them out of the way and get to the door. Once inside I called the police.”

The incident occurred in 2010 and came just months before Ms Patel was first elected MP for Witham.

Having been appointed Home Secretary in June, Ms Patel has wasted little time in making her mark on the role and has vowed to make criminals “feel terror”.

She has announced plans to expand prison sentences for violent criminals and hand out an extra 10,000 tasers to help protect police.

Despite now receiving better protection herself, the Home Secretary admits her own experience of being threatened with a knife is a reminder of the impact violent crime can have on people’s lives.

She added: “It was a truly shocking experience but one which I know many other people have had to face, sometimes with a less fortunate outcome.

“Violent crime concerns us all. It invades communities and homes.

“It can break neighbourhoods and it has such a long-standing, chilling impact and effect.

“As in many other cases, the incident outside my house about ten years ago was drug-related.”